Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Challenges facing UN Envoy to Yemen  to end crisis 

By Nasser Arrabyee , 15/11/2011

It's been one week now since the UN envoy arrived to Yemen to end the 10-month long political crisis. 

In the first week of his current sixth round, Jamal Bin Omar has achieved very little,but still seemed determined and optimistic to achieve more before he briefs the Security Council on November 21st, 2011.

On Tuesday November 15th, Bin Omar discussed with President Ali Abdullah Saleh in the presidential palace in Sanaa the steps of transferring the power according to the internationally and regionally supported deal which was brokered by the Saudi-led six nations  of the Gulf Cooperation Council,GCC.

In the meeting Saleh said he is sticking to the GCC and the UNSC resolution 2014 which urged the conflicting parties to implement the GCC deal.

Bin Omar said the UN resolution 2014 calls for a compromised political solution based on the GCC deal. The political solution is an early  presidential elections with the opposition and ruling party agreeing on one candidate. 

This candidate  would most likely be  the current vice president Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi. 

However, leaders of the Islamist-led opposition parties are still outside Yemen until late Tuesday despite the repeated calls for them to come back from Bin Omar, US and EU ambassadors.

Bin Omar said the international community would condemn any party that would not stop violence and violation of human rights. 

He regretted the continuation of violence from the armed conflicting parties which caused a lot of sufferings to civilians.

President Saleh said he is ready to step down within 90 days maximum if his deputy reached a scheduled mechanism for implementing the GCC deal.

" I am not clinging to power, whoever clings to power is a mad," Saleh said on Monday in televised statements.

But Saleh said without reaching an agreement on how and when to implement the GCC deal , Yemenis  will go to an all-out cvil war.

Two important and controversial issues  faced the UN envoy since he arrived last week.

The ruling party wanted the  GCC initiative to be signed simultaneously with its implementation mechanism while the opposition wanted  President Saleh or his deputy  to sign  the GCC first and then its implementation mechanism signed  in Riyadh later.

The ruling party wanted the leaders of the opposition to get back from outside Yemen to finalize the last details of the implementation mechanism of the GCC. 

The secretary general of the socialist party, Yassin Saeed Noman, secretary general of the Islamist party, Abdul Wahab Al Ansi,and chairman of the national council, Mohammed Ba Sundwa are still mobilizing support outside Yemen since middle of October and they do not want to get back until the GCC is signed despite the American and European calls for them to get back.

The ruling party also wants guarantees   From opposition or from international community  to end protests as soon as the national government is formed according to the implementation mechanism of the GCC.

The opposition keep saying their protesters have the right to demonstrate and sit in regardless of any agreement between the parties.

Furthermore, there are three considerable groups who completely refuse the GCC deal as a solution for the Yemeni crisis.

In south, the southern separatist movement group refuses  the GCC deal and describes  it as a northern issue that has nothing to do with them.

The Shiite rebels of Al Houthi in the north,also refuse the GCC deal as something that excludes them and enhances the persecution from the sunni groups from which they have been complaining. 

The GCC deal is believed to be in favor of the historic opponents of the Shiite Al Houthi group.

The sunni Islamist party, Islah and the defected general Ali Muhsen, who is very close to Islah and who led six wars against Al Houthi, are the historic opponents of     Al Houthi group.
Al Houthi group is the second largest and influential group after  Islah that dominates the Yemen main opposition coalition which includes Islamists, Socialists and Nasserites.

From March to this month, hundreds of   people were killed and injured in  fierce battles between Islah and Houthi in Al Jawf, Saada and Hajja provinces. Each group wants to control as much as possible  of these provinces in the absence of the central government because of the current unrest.

On Monday November 14th, 2011, for instance, 10 people from both sides were killed after Al Houthi  fighters arrested and killed a suicide bomber allegedly from Islah who tried to  blow himself up in a big group of Al Houthi followers who were celebrating their sacred annual day of Al Ghafeer in the area of Matoon, in Al Jawf province, north east of Yemen.

The third group that refuses the GCC deal is Al Qaeda. This terrorist group denies both the opposition and the government and described  them as the
 "agents of Americans, the enemies of Muslims and Islam". 

In the areas under their control as Taliban-Style Islamic Emirates in the south of the country,  Al Qaeda whips, cuts hands, and executes as punishments for anyone who violates what they call Shariah law.


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